Time to start a new chapter

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Midlothian Voluntary Action is turning a page by supporting World Book Night.

World Book night on Monday is an international celebration of reading and books.

Tens of thousands of volunteers in the UK, Ireland, Germany and the USA will give books to people in their communities in order to share their love of reading. The book chosen by Midlothian Voluntary Action is ‘The Time Traveller’s Wife’, by Audrey Niffenegger.

Twenty five books were shortlisted for World Book Night and staff at MVA opted for Niffenegger’s tale, which blends romance and science fiction.

MVA development officer, Lesley Kelly (pictured), herself an award-winning short story writer, explained: “The purpose of World Book Night is to share the joy of reading by gifting a book to people who may not necessarily ever read for pleasure.

“MVA shall be giving copies of The Time Traveller’s Wife to chosen local charities and voluntary organisations in Midlothian for them to distribute. Hopefully this wonderfully imaginative novel will inspire people to give reading a try and who knows, may even start them on a lifelong journey of reading.”

On World Book Night a variety of events will be taking place across the UK to encourage people to take up reading. Currently one in six people in the UK experience difficulties with reading and writing.

This can compromise health and well-being as well as confidence and employability. The event intends to promote literacy as well as celebrate books.

It also looks to inspire those who have never discovered the value of reading. April 23 was chosen as World Book Night as it is the date of the birth and death of William Shakespeare.

Philip Wark, Midlothian Library Services manager, added: “Reading is really important for all sorts of reasons, and World Book Night gives everyone the opportunity of obtaining a free book to keep forever.